Technology was the driver, Obama campaign manager

He’s credited as the mastermind of the most successful U.S. presidential campaign in recent history.

David Plouffe, who was reportedly in charge of the Obama campaign’s moving parts – media, staff, fundraising and travel – is not part of the presidential transition team, nor is he expected to join the incoming administration.

Plouffe laid out some of the campaign successes during Tuesday’s speech that at times seemed aimed almost entirely at political junkies. He credited that success to technology and the grassroots nature of the campaign.

“There was a freshness to our message and we thought we were using technology well,” he said of the hundreds of millions of dollars raised on the Internet. “Technology was the driver for us in fundraising and delivering our message.”

The campaign team invested a lot of time in making sure its message was clear and communicated directly to supporters. More than 13 million names were on their email distribution list.

The idea was to have supporters talk to their loved ones and neighbours about the campaign, which Plouffe believed would be a more powerful way to spread the word than television ads and newspaper articles.

Plouffe, who did not take questions from the media and reportedly forbade audio and video recordings of his Toronto speech.

Press Release – Winnipeg Search Marketing Company Launches New Canadian Website

Winnipeg, Canada January 13, 2009 — The Fresh Traffic Group is proud to announce the launch of their new Canadian website www.freshtraffic.ca which showcases all their new and existing services for the search engine marketing industry. The site also uses enhanced SEO methods to affirm their position in the SEO marketing industry.

The site features easy navigation and more informative pages and; internet SEO tools to help visitors better understand the detailed services they offer and their benefits.

“We felt it was time to use the wealth of information and results we have achieved to better represent ourselves in the North American market. Our services needed to be clearer to the captive audience we are looking to approach, and its imperative we give them the facts quickly to ensure they have come to the right place”, says David Guspodarchuk, Sales Manager of Fresh Traffic Group.

“New products used to get a traditional introduction to the marketplace,” says President Jerry Booth. “A company would send out a press release and advertise in the paper, on TV or on the radio, and a website would be created to highlight the new product’s capabilities. But now, product launches involve a new strategy that focuses on social networking, SEO, link-building, website optimization and content creation, integrated into many of the traditional marketing and public relations techniques already in use.”

Mr. Booth further states, “Recent events where history has been made show how times have changed. You still need to do all the traditional work with websites to list high in search engines like Google & Yahoo, but we have now integrated traditional media and marketing strategies with new media and social media services. Fresh Traffic offers a personalized approach to communication practices in areas such as; marketing strategy and marketing intelligence; internal positioning and reputation management; brand management; public relations and media relations; and small business consulting and global marketing practices. “

“Fresh has just been awarded the Top SEO Company for the second month in a row by Search Tech which confirms our leadership position in the SEO industry,” comments Mr. Booth. “Although every employee at Fresh is proud to work for the best SEO Company in Canada, we are not satisfied. Indeed, we are restless. In order to achieve many more number one rankings for our company, we must build on our success, not rest on it.”

About Fresh Traffic Group – www.freshtraffic.ca

Fresh Traffic Group, operated by former Director of Google UK, Jerry Booth, specializes in organic search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), helping company websites to place high on the pages of the major search engines such as; Google, MSN and Yahoo. The company is headquartered on the 16th floor of the CanWest Global Building in Winnipeg, MB Canada.

For further information or to book an appointment to meet, contact: David Guspodarchuk, Sales Manager, 204-942-4200 ext. 2225

SEO, Why is Everyone an Expert

A College internship at an interactive marketing company ended up the ticket to a promising career for one of its 22 year old students. During the internship, he learned a skill known as search engine optimization In August, he was snapped up by a public relations and advertising agency in Denver, and given the title of search engine optimization director.

This was a story in the New York Times

The birth of the Internet gave rise to jobs in areas like Web development and design. And as companies and consumers flocked to the Web, jobs in Internet marketing soon followed. Search engine optimization, part of Internet marketing, is what companies use to drive traffic to Web sites in the hope that consumers will buy a product or service, for example, or subscribe to a publication.

This is a question I ask myself on a regular basis, Why is everyone all of a sudden an SEO Expert, they read a few blogs, go on day course somewhere and all of a sudden they know all there is know about search engine optimization.

If only it was that easy,.

All the SEO’s I know personally, most are well known and documented on the web who have been doing this for the last 10 years, long before it had a name.

They all earn in excess of $1million a year, admittedly some write there own books, some write get rich marketing schemes that plays to peoples greed, are they bothered when earning $10 million a year, probably not.

The question I ask myself is this, if it was you earning this kind of money on an annual basis, would you tell everyone how it was really done?

I didn’t think so, You have your answer.

You can learn good practices by reading forums and blogs, you can read the guidelines set out by Google, Yahoo etc, learn about social media and even web designing, but I have yet to read the full story on how it is done by anybody.

The big hitters will always be the big hitters, WHY, money in the bank baby.

Not all SEO providers are the same

If you’re a small business shopping around for the right SEO to help you out, there are a lot of things you need to consider before jumping in and hiring a SEO subcontractor or firm. Even if you’re on a tighter-than-normal budget–and really, who isn’t right about now–you can’t shop for SEO simply on costs alone. That’s like buying an economy car when you really need a mini-van. You just need to find the mini-van that offers the best features at the right price.

Not all SEO providers are the same and not all sites require the same type of SEO service. All thing must be taken into proper consideration. Here are five things that are relevant to the overall pricing and success of your optimization campaign.

Size of your site

The size of your site will be a significant factor in how much work will be necessary to optimize. The smaller the site the easier the overall optimization will be. But if you’re dealing with a site with lots of pages or products then the optimization becomes much more complex. Even the pre-optimization work on larger site’s is more time consuming.

The difference between optimizing small and larger sites can literally be thousands of dollars per month. As you start shopping around and getting quotes for SEO, you need to be aware of the size of the task that you’re being quoted on.

Condition of site

While size of the site has an effect, so does the site’s overall condition. I’ve run across many smaller sites that were so completely screwed up that nothing short of a complete re-development was in order. This sucks for the small business owner, but when you didn’t invest in developing the site properly the first time, it means you either have to do it again correctly or simply suffer through ineffective SEO. Of course, you’re still paying for that SEO so you’re better off going for the re-development.

If your site is in relatively stable condition, from an architectural standpoint, then that will cut down the cost significantly. This is especially true for larger site’s where one change can be implemented across thousands of pages instantly.

There are a lot of factors that are considered when looking at the site’s condition. Things such as the architecture, usability, design appeal, usage and customization of title and description tags, page content, site navigation and internal linkage, all need to be considered when analyzing the condition of the site and what needs to be done to get it into proper order..

Keyword options

There is a huge difference in optimizing a site for a few dozen keywords, versus optimizing a site for several thousand. There are many sites in niche industries where keywords are pretty limited. Usually we can still come up with a list of a few hundred, but sometimes it’s even fewer than that. But in other industries the keyword variables are wide open and there can literally be an unlimited number of keywords that can be targeted.

The more keyword options there are for your site, and how quickly you want to get any and all of those keywords optimized and performing in the search results, will be a contributing factor in the cost of your campaign. If you are fine with a slower approach then costs can be reduced significantly. But if you want to be more aggressive, optimizing more keywords more quickly, then the cost will go up significantly.

Experience/Skill of SEO

Some SEOs charge $25/hour while others charge several hundred, and there is every shade in between. Not all SEO firms charge by the hour, but the quote for services is based on the number of hours of work estimated and how much the SEO believes they are worth for that amount of time, so essentially, everything is hourly based.

While you may not want to pay $200/hour for services when you can get it for $50, there is a skill factor involved in each pricing structure. Not everybody who charges a lot is worth it, but very few are worth more than they charge. Selecting a SEO with the skill level necessary to do the job and do it effectively is essential to your long-term success. Keep in mind, also, that more skilled SEOs will not only charge more per hour, but they will likely get more done in less time. At the same time, they are more likely to find and fix problems that would be left unaddressed by the lesser skilled providers.

Another factor to consider is the difference between hiring a solo-SEO consultant and a SEO firm. While firms tend to have more overhead that needs to be paid for, they often have a wider skill range to work from. It’s often difficult for one person to be an expert in SEO, architecture, copywriting, usability, link building, and social media all at the same time. In such cases these jobs will often be farmed out at a profit for both individuals/companies doing and managing the work, or simply performed less effectively.

Services offered

The amount of services offered in a SEO contract can vary from company to company. It’s not too difficult to reduce costs of the SEO service by cutting out non-essential services. But frequently enough, essential services are cut as well, in order to get costs down. Cutting costs by cutting essential services is bad for everybody. Not only will you not be performing but then you’ll blame the SEO who will in turn point out that you may need to purchase additional services in order to perform.

While not every service is necessary for every kind of SEO contract, you need to make sure that the essential services are in place. And from there, you still need to keep an open mind if other services may need to be added to give your campaign an added boost.

All of these factors weigh heavily in the overall cost of any SEO and online marketing campaign. If your funds are limited then you may be tempted to go with a budget SEO provider. But keep in mind that SEO is an investment. If you invest little, you’ll likely get little. But as you increase your investment then your return usually becomes exponentially greater.

Everybody needs to budget and you don’t want to get into a contract that you simply cannot afford to pay. Considering each of the areas above carefully will ensure you’re selecting an SEO provider that will provide you the best service, giving you the most value for your invested dollar. The last thing you want is to be budgeted out of success.

When is keyword density enough

One of the discussions that new content writers like to engage in is the keyword density discussion.

Somewhere along the line someone told them to make sure their keyword density was at least 1% and not more than 7%, or something like that. Is there any truth to it?
Not really. What’s really important to getting rankings in the search engines is not how many times you use a keyword in your content, but where you use your keyword and how you use your keyword.

In terms of search engine optimization, one keyword placed in the title of your content – an h1 tag at the top of the page – is worth about half a dozen of the same keyword filtered throughout your content. That’s pretty powerful. By the same token, one keyword placed inside an anchor text link is equal in value to about three or four of the same keyword repeated in your content.

Again, that’s fairly significant.

Keyword density may have been important at one time, but it’s not important today. You’d be much better off learning what the search engines are looking for overall and forgetting about keyword density.

Without Google what would we do?

What would we do without Google?

Google’s motto to “organize the world’s information to make it universally accessible” is perhaps the one defining characteristic that we can rely on.

The fact that we can debate whether Google lives up to its other motto – “do no evil” – means that we cannot really rely on them to be virtuous.

But we can rely on them to organize the world’s information, and they’ve done that fairly well. At least, theyve done it better than anyone else. If it meant being evil to do that successfully, would be willing to live with the evil?

I think we could advance the argument that most people who consider Google the evil empire probably do so on the basis of some perceived action by Google that has been unfavorable to them or someone they know. In other words, if you operate a website and youve been de-cached or your Google AdSense account was discontinued, etc.

But Google doesnt just penalize people without cause. There is usually a violation of policy somewhere, and if there wasn’t then I’d bet my last dollar that Google would reinstate the individual to favorable status if it was brought to their attention.

That doesn’t mean the search engine hasn’t, and won’t, do evil things. It does mean that they take their mission to organize the world’s information seriously.

So I ask again, what would we do without Google? It was Google who taught us that back links count. It was Google that brought us the wholesale opportunity to advertise our businesses and choose what we are willing to pay for a lead.

It was Google that made us realize that search engine spam can be tackled at the source and while they aren’t perfect at defeating it they do a nice job.

I know that Google is constantly seeking improvement. Sometimes they fail and institute policies that backfire or that don’t work. But they are organizing the world’s information pretty well and I know that if I need to know something really important I can search Google and within minutes have that pressing question answered. Without Google, I’d be living at the library.

SEO Internal Link Stucture

Much has been said of links, but it’s mostly inbound links that get all the attention. Internal links – links that point from one page of your website to another – should also be considered a part of your overall link structure.

Internal links can have a big impact on your overall SEO. There are a couple of primary ways to make sure that you get the most out of your internal links. The first is to ensure that you use the proper anchor text. When you link from page A to page B you should use your primary keyword on page B as the anchor text for your link.

If you do that on every page then you should improve your SEO tremendously. Always use the primary keyword of the page to which you are linking no matter which page you are linking from.

The second way to use your internal links is to make sure they are html links and not dynamic links. Mouseovers, blinking text, and drop down menus are often used as features of navigation bars and they generally work against webmasters where SEO is concerned. The best way to improve your SEO with internal links is to make sure that your navigational bar is HTML-based.

If you do these two things on your website then your internal link structure will be stronger than ever before

Dont Cut Back SEO

When the economy turns sour just about every company starts to cut expenses and usually the first thing that goes is the one service where the perceived value is less. Search engine optimization is one of those services that could be threatened by the recession.

I would strongly caution against cutting back on your SEO for your business. Companies that I’ve seen do that have in the past regretted it. Typically what happens is they’ll see their search rankings decline. After dropping off the first page they’ll see fewer and fewer visitors to their websites and that will result in fewer conversions and less overall sales. Almost always these customers restart their optimization and they have to claw their way back up the search engine ladder to top rankings. That takes longer usually than the drop off and takes more resources long term.

It may seem that a recession is the time to cut expenses, but you don’t want to cut your marketing expenses. It’s really the time when you should be marketing more, not less. If you think of search engine optimization as a part of your overall marketing strategy then that puts it a little more into perspective.

Don’t you think?

business advice on using Facebook as a marketing tool

As consumers are spending more and more of their online time on social networking pages as opposed to traditional brand websites, many business experts are now recommending that businesses incorporate

Facebook has made a huge impact online: there are now over 100 million monthly visitors to the site, and this figure is on the increase. While some businesses are beginning to use social networking sites in their marketing efforts, most business experts say that few companies are investing enough time and effort to make the most of this opportunity.

The benefit of Facebook, and other social networking sites, is that businesses can communicate directly with their customers. This provides an enormous marketing opportunity for brands, but it is crucial, say the business experts, to ‘get it right’.

There are a few key rules that are critical to making good use of sites like Facebook for marketing. Firstly, according to the business experts, consumers do not want to be advertised at. Instead, consumers want conversation, and they want businesses to add value to that conversation. Once you become known as a ‘good brand’ online, consumers will begin to start spreading the word for you, according to business experts.

Next, business experts caution that it takes more than simply having a high number of contacts online to leverage social networking benefits for your business. You need to ensure that you have a quality connection with each individual friend online otherwise you will risk not appearing genuine.

With the increasing popularity of social networking sites, some business experts are even questioning the need for traditional brand based websites. If you can build your branded social network page, they say, then you may not need the traditional website.

SEO Marketing Helps UK Retailers Maximise Internet Sales

The run up to Christmas, 2008 has seen e-commerce become the focus for retailers across the UK.In the light of rising costs and consumers reigning in their spending to save money, the Internet is now seen as the place of choice for consumers, for comparisons and significant savings. Internet marketing for e-commerce sites has become the chosen method of promoting retail businesses.

“With Internet marketing and digital advertising budgets increasing, traditional advertising is being replaced by cost-effective, targeted, digital advertising and marketing campaigns”,

The credit crunch recession has seen closures of retail outlets, both in London and across the United Kingdom, leading to an increase in Internet sales with the Internet being viewed as the buyer’s market.

The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that between May and June 2008, retail sales volumes fell by 3.9%, the largest monthly drop since records began in 1986.

Yet online sales have been strong. In fact, Internet sales may be rising more rapidly than anticipated because hard-pressed consumers are determined to find value for money. Also, the rocketing cost of fuel means many shoppers are cutting visits to brick-and-mortar stores and turning to the Web instead.

Major online retailers are realising that to maintain a presence in the market, they need to offer true multichannel shopping and delivery/return options, as well as value for money. This strategy ensures they will gain and keep their market share in the future. The businesses that are not moving towards Internet marketing, and digital advertising, for whom traditional print or broadcast advertising is now too expensive, are likely to stagnate or go out of business.